Sum­mer surge of pa­tients

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

HEATH­COTE Health’s emer­gency de­part­ment is in­creas­ingly un­der siege dur­ing the sum­mer pe­riod.

Pre­sen­ta­tions have jumped every year — from 141 to 156 through­out the last three De­cem­bers, and from 117 to 139 over the past three Jan­uar­ies.

In con­trast, pre­sen­ta­tions were as low as 85 in July and Septem­ber of 2015, and 105 in May of last year.

Sim­i­larly, the num­ber of hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions in Jan­uary rose to 28 this year, af­ter just 18 in the pre­vi­ous two Jan­uar­ies.

The surg­ing de­mand on emer­gency care at hos­pi­tals through sum­mer is a statewide trend.

Heath­cote Health clin­i­cal care di­rec­tor Gerry Canny said the sum­mer was al­ways a busy pe­riod for the hos­pi­tal.

‘‘De­cem­ber and Jan­uary are al­ways tra­di­tion­ally among our busiest months, both in terms of pre­sen­ta­tions to our Ur­gent Care Cen­tre and also ad­mis­sions to our hos­pi­tal beds,’’ Mr Canny said.

For all of Vic­to­ria there has been a 24 per cent in­crease in the num­ber of pa­tients pre­sent­ing to the emer­gency de­part­ment over sum­mer.

Health and Am­bu­lance Ser­vices min­is­ter Jill Hen­nessy said Vic­to­ria has never ex­pe­ri­enced such de­mand on its health sys­tem, and that health pro­fes­sion­als are treat­ing and car­ing for more pa­tients than ever be­fore.

Com­mu­nity lunch

LO­CAL church groups came to­gether on Thurs­day for the monthly com­mu­nity lunch.

Heath­cote Angli­can church joined the Unit­ing church for a cold meat and salad lunch.

‘‘The ta­bles were beau­ti­fully set with white cloths and dec­o­ra­tions in the cen­tre,’’ Louise Joy said.

‘‘It was such a pleas­ant at­mos­phere and a delicious lunch.’’

‘‘There is al­ways good va­ri­ety when ev­ery­one brings a dish and we had fruit salad, cream, ice cream and ap­ple crum­ble for dessert.

A gold coin do­na­tion was asked to cover the cof­fee, tea and milk.

‘‘We no­ticed the bas­ket go­ing around had plenty of notes in it which showed the ap­pre­ci­a­tion of ev­ery­one there,’’ Ms Joy said.

Next month’s meet­ing will be held on Thurs­day, March 2 from 12pm to 1.30pm at the Unit­ing church.

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